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Philosophy

Language, Personality and Self-Replication

We do not use language, it uses us and its greatest trick is to easily persuade us otherwise.

Language defines or prescribes personality in ways which few of us are prepared to admit. The different patterns and structures of cognition implicit to any linguistic pattern of communication must inevitably shape and influence the overall ways in which someone inhabits that language. The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis is interesting – if perhaps not definitive – in that it infers that language creates reality and different language creates different reality. Personality is not as separate from its means of effective communication or function, psychological and social expression as we would commonly like to believe. Further to this – language is very much like the abstractions of pure mathematics in that at every possible opportunity it seeks through dynamic, adaptive self-inflection to attain higher, more powerful methods of compression through geometric higher-dimensionality and effective operational or functional encodings of self-representational abstraction.

We are free to choose from the menu of lexical (or conceptual) choices available to us but in so choosing we rarely acknowledge that each and every action here is always and already first to benefit the information systems we inhabit and only as a side-effect or downstream consequence to ever or in any way to notionally benefit ourselves. This distance and difference between the system of information and communications technology (as language) and those that inhabit it becomes a hyperinflating symbolic space in which we cultivate the variously creative flowers and long-suffering psychological thorns or stigmata of self-identity. We live through language as a consequence of core cognition or underlying information-theoretic symmetries but these patterns of information exploit us, autonomously and entirely undirected, much as DNA exploits by adaptive self-replication an integrated, competitive ecosystem as the transmission medium for its own reflexive and effective self-propagation.

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